Posted by: will | September 14, 2007

Music Review – Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams “Easy Tiger” (Lost Highway)

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Ryan Adams has to be one of the most inconsistent and frustrating artists. The guy goes from brilliance to triteness from album to album. Easy Tiger is about as appropriate a title for a Ryan Adams album as there will ever be. How many times have we as fans wanted to say that same line to Adams? If the man would just slow down and exercise some quality control, his material would not be so frustratingly scattered and uneven. Easy Tiger perhaps marks that certain wind of change for Ryan Adams.

Ryan Adams is sober now. It seems as though that sobriety has brought a little patience to Adams. Easy Tiger sounds on point and shows off a true focus that was missing at times from Adam’s past work. Besides out-of-place rockers like “Halloweenhead,” much of Easy Tiger rides a somber country/folk wave. It is reminiscent of the mood set by Cold Roses, the 2005 double album of Adams and his backing band, The Cardinals. Where Cold Roses was immensely sprawling, Easy Tiger flows rather effortlessly over its streamlined thirteen tracks. Only one song on Easy Tiger breaks even the four minute mark, the longing “The Sun Also Sets” which ranks as one of Adams’ best songs yet. The majority of Adams’ albums (excluding Heartbreaker of course), contain outstanding songs held down by filler material which slows the tempo far too often. Easy Tiger avoids that problem as it plays at a quicker pace and keeps filler at a true minimum.

Easy Tiger does see a more conventional Ryan Adams appearing. It seems as though Adams may have lost some of that flair he is known for. In the end though, that seems to have given him some much needed focus. It is that focus that marks the success of Easy Tiger. While it may not be that masterpiece that us Adams fans have been hoping and waiting for, Easy Tiger is certainly a pleasant surprise and a close return to form.

RIYL: Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Jeff Buckley

Listen:

Ryan Adams – Two (mp3)

Ryan Adams – Everybody Knows (mp3)

www.myspace.com/ryanadams

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